Sometimes it is necessary to put a crown on a patients tooth. A crown is necessary when a tooth is fractured to the point where a filling would not hold up.
Besides strengthening the tooth a crown can also improve the appearance of the tooth. What gave me the idea to write about different types of crowns was something that happened in the office recently. A patient fractured a front tooth which required a crown. The patient didn't realize crowns can be made of different types of materials. The patient did not want a crown on a front tooth that showed metal and didn't realize ceramic metal-free crowns are available.
If a front tooth needs a crown the best choice is an all ceramic or porcelain crown. This type of crown is very natural looking and has no metal. It's almost Impossible to tell the difference between a porcelain crown and a natural tooth.
While all ceramic crowns are strong when a posterior tooth needs a crown sometimes a porcelain fused to metal crown ( or PFM) is a better choice. A PFM is a great choice when a molar requires crown coverage. Molars bear a lot more chewing forces than anterior teeth making the strength of a crown slightly more important than aesthetics.